Broncos should not take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft
The Broncos should not take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft
I see it all the time. Broncos fans and popular talking heads mocking a quarterback to the team in the 2021 NFL Draft. Whether it’s Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, or Trey Lance, a large chunk of Broncos Country seems to think that the team will be better off drafting a quarterback in 2021, instead of running it back with Drew Lock for at least one more year.
The truth is, if the Broncos draft a quarterback in the first round, or with the intention of that prospect eventually being the starter, this team will be set back another couple years, and this team has the talent to win now.
The last few drafts have consisted of John Elway carefully turning over this roster with above-average to excellent draft picks and some free agent home runs like Kareem Jackson and Bryce Callahan. He swung and missed on Cardiac Case Keenum and Joe Flacco, but finally invested a high draft pick in Drew Lock.
Since then, Elway has been very deliberate in trying to surround Lock with elite-level talent like Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Noah Fant, and Lock’s college teammate Albert Okwuegbunam.
His teammates believe in him. They make note of his unlimited confidence and infectious swagger. Lock is clearly a natural-born leader. He has the intangibles that cannot be taught, and, maybe most importantly, the offense is finally starting to mesh together.
Lock has gradually improved the past few weeks, and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has slowly started to figure out what plays to call. Lock has been making mostly good decisions with the football since the Miami game, and since starting 0/6 with an INT during that game, he has come back to throw 6 TDs against just 2 INTs.
We all knew that the final stretch of the season would be huge for Lock, and he has started to put it together.
Interrupting the continuity that Lock and Shurmur have developed in the name of Zach Wilson or a Trey Lance is beyond absurd. There is no guarantee that they would come in and immediately be an upgrade, and, as a matter of fact, there is every reason to believe that they will struggle, and struggle badly.
Historically, QBs do take a few years to put it together, and the QBs who seem to be ahead of schedule, like Justin Herbert, Kyler, Murray, and Joe Burrow are simply rare occurrences (and top 10 draft choices). Also, we have no idea how the 2021 QB draft class will ultimately pan out, if there is a combine, what if they perform poorly?
There are far too many factors at play to warrant picking a QB in the situation that the Broncos are in. Lock has shown quite a bit the past few weeks and has ultimately shown enough to be penciled in as the starter next year.
I think the team will bring in a quality backup in case Lock implodes, but what good does it do for the chemistry and development of the team if Lock gets pushed to the curb for a rookie? The offense is starting to wake up with Lock under center, and it would be wise for the team to run it back with him.
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What is the point of interrupting the progress? If that happens, we will be faced with two more years of mediocrity, and seemingly in a situation where there would be a need to clean house again. Now that the team has a clear identity, and a competent coaching staff, the team would be wise to get healthy, return as many starters as possible, and run it back in 2021.